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The Los Angeles Times has this story today on about how San Diego “may lead the league in public figures who prefer to stay out of the public eye.”

Reporter Tony Perry’s list of examples is long: Bishop Robert H. Brom, Carol Lam, Joan Kroc, Ernest Rady, Douglas Manchester and Alex Spanos.

It ends with this note on the Union-Tribune:

The newspaper regularly goes to court seeking access to public documents and on its editorial page often calls for openness.

But the paper’s personal style seems to be “do as we say, not as we do.”

Karin Winner, the newspaper’s editor, has turned down repeated requests from the City Club, (City Club president George) Mitrovich said.

By comparison Max Frankel spoke twice to the club during his years as executive editor of the New York Times.

David Copley, owner-publisher of the Union-Tribune, turns down interview requests and rarely, if ever, is seen in public — although his name does sometimes appear in coverage of La Jolla society.

He is following the lead of his mother and predecessor, the late Helen Copley.

Recently, one of the newspaper’s columnists had some sport with the San Diego airport authority president’s refusal to grant an interview.

The columnist called her office and got a return call not from her but from the airport’s attorney.

In turn, The Times called David Copley for an interview.

The return call, two days later, came not from Copley but from the newspaper’s attorney.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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